Modern-day Laos has its roots in the ancient Lao kingdom of Lan Xang,
established in the 14th Century under King FA NGUM. For 300 years Lan
Xang had influence reaching into present-day Cambodia and Thailand, as
well as over all of what is now Laos. After centuries of gradual
decline, Laos came under...
The name “Latvia” originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four
eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people
(ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.). The region subsequently came under the
control of Germans, Poles, Swedes, and finally, Russians. A Latvian
republic emerged following World War I, but it was annexed...
Following World War I, France acquired a mandate over the northern
portion of the former Ottoman Empire province of Syria. The French
separated out the region of Lebanon in 1920, and granted this area
independence in 1943. A lengthy civil war (1975-90) devastated the
country, but Lebanon has since made progress toward rebuilding...
Basutoland was renamed the Kingdom of Lesotho upon independence from
the UK in 1966. The Basuto National Party ruled the country during its
first two decades. King MOSHOESHOE was exiled in 1990, but returned to
Lesotho in 1992 and was reinstated in 1995 and subsequently succeeded
by his son, King LETSIE III, in...
Settlement of freed slaves from the US in what is today Liberia began
in 1822; by 1847, the Americo-Liberians were able to establish a
republic. William TUBMAN, president from 1944-71, did much to promote
foreign investment and to bridge the economic, social, and political
gaps between the descendents of the original settlers and...
The Italians supplanted the Ottoman Turks in the area around Tripoli in
1911 and did not relinquish their hold until 1943 when defeated in
World War II. Libya then passed to UN administration and achieved
independence in 1951. Following a 1969 military coup, Col. Muammar Abu
Minyar al-QADHAFI began to espouse his political...
The Principality of Liechtenstein was established within the Holy Roman
Empire in 1719. Occupied by both French and Russian troops during the
Napoleonic Wars, it became a sovereign state in 1806 and joined the
Germanic Confederation in 1815. Liechtenstein became fully independent
in 1866 when the Confederation dissolved. Until the end of World...
Read more →
Lithuanian lands were united under MINDAUGAS in 1236; over the next
century, through alliances and conquest, Lithuania extended its
territory to include most of present-day Belarus and Ukraine. By the
end of the 14th century Lithuania was the largest state in Europe. An
alliance with Poland in 1386 led the two countries into...
Founded in 963, Luxembourg became a grand duchy in 1815 and an
independent state under the Netherlands. It lost more than half of its
territory to Belgium in 1839 but gained a larger measure of autonomy.
Full independence was attained in 1867. Overrun by Germany in both
world wars, it ended its neutrality...